11 (Sun) October 2015
Mixed Sea Grill Platter
at Sea Grill Restaurant (Pacific Plaza)
-Tumon Bay, Guam-
with various K staff and K delegates
Mission to the United States, Day 2 (see previously 6.278 Chicken Kelaguen).
In Guam. Arrived yesterday morning. Here to attend WPRO’s annual RCM — hottest event of the year — Monday through Thursday. Flying back next Saturday.
Inevitably, he asks her, “Are you married?” Koreans, particularly older men, still regard this is as an appropriate question to ask a complete stranger, particularly young women, regardless of context. Here, the older man is Korean, a member of the Korean delegation to RCM. The young woman is Filipina*, our server for the evening. Quite chatty/charming/chummy, she quickly develops a rapport with the table**. She has short hair. I see where this is headed. As she comes back to serve the second round of beers, he drops the question. Her response, “I have a girlfriend.”
Hushed silence. Furtive exchanges of glances amongst everyone — except me, rolling my eyes. Then, he says, in a gallant attempt to diffuse the situation, “Uhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm.”
Korean society at large has made strides in recent years towards acknowledging/admitting/acquiescing that LGBT aren’t deviant/dirty/despicable, but most people remain uncomfortable with the idea. Which is progress, I guess.
Off she goes, seemingly unphased, like it happens all the time, probably does, given all the older Korean men in the place.
Come to think of it, she could’ve just said, “No.”
The food was okay. Fairly well-prepared dishes, western in style. Nothing to rave nor rant about.
*Turns out that 100% of service staff here are from the Philippines.
**Reminds me of the States, where servers tend to get overly cute, hoping to elicit a bigger tip***.
***Because 70% of the tourists here are from Japan, 30% from Korea, neither of which are known to tip, an automatic 10% service charge is tacked on to every bill; but that seems to make matters worse, compelling the servers to over-hustle in hopes of extracting an extra 5%.